There’s often a fine line between giving a drug addict your support and enabling self-destructive behavior. How do you know when you’re enabling instead of helping?
- Your help perpetuates the addiction. Examples might be paying an addict’s rent when he’s spent all his money on drugs or letting him use your cell phone to set up deals.
- You’re covering up the addict’s behavior. If you’re often calling an addict’s boss or family to lie about her erratic behavior, you’re enabling rather than helping.
- You feel like you’re being manipulated. Addicts can be extremely manipulative. If your intuition tells you that an addict is lying to you or playing with your emotions in order to get your help, you’re probably right.
- Helping the addict endangers your own welfare. If you’re late paying your own bills because you’ve been lending money to an addict, or you’re giving him rides to sketchy neighborhoods so he can score, it’s time to stop enabling and start looking out for yourself.